Apply for this licence

Start now on the Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) website


You must be registered with Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) if you wish to provide an independent healthcare service in Scotland.

Independent healthcare services are private or voluntary services outside the framework of the National Health Service and currently include:

  • independent hospitals
  • voluntary hospices
  • private psychiatric hospitals

How to apply

To register your service, you must either:

  • complete the online application form on the HIS website (you’ll need to create a new user account if you haven’t registered a service before)
  • contact HIS for an application pack

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) helpline
Telephone: 0131 623 4300
Find out about call charges

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS)
Elliott House
8–10 Hillside Crescent

When completing the application form you must provide details about your business (sole trader, company, charity, etc) and your service, such as staffing levels, suitability of premises and arrangements for infection control. You must also provide details of any manager you intend to appoint to run that service.

You will need to enclose various documents with your application, including accounts, a business plan, insurance certificates, recruitment policy and plans of your premises. A full list of documents required can be found at the back of the application form.

You must pay an application fee of £3,620.

Note that you must also complete a further application form (Part 5 - Quality of the service) before your service can be registered. However, this will be completed during the registration process and HIS will provide guidance on this.


HIS will only grant your application if they believe you are fit to run a healthcare service - eg haven’t gone into bankruptcy or been imprisoned for an offence carrying a jail term of three months or more.

HIS will also carry out background checks, eg for details of criminal records or inclusion on children’s or vulnerable adults’ lists.

It takes approximately four months to process an application.

If your application is granted, you will be issued with a certificate of registration which you must display in each set of premises from which your service is provided.